France cracks down on fast-fashion, British Rowing launches river clean-up initiatives, KLM’s Sustainability-related advertising ruled as misleading

Posted on March 22nd 2024

KLM’s sustainability-related advertising ruled as misleading

The sustainability-related advertising of Dutch airline, KLM, has been found to be misleading according to an Amsterdam court this week.

The adverts in question contained claims about the environmental sustainability of aviation as well as aviation fuels which the court ruled were “based on vague and general statements about environmental benefits,” and “paints too rosy a picture of the effects of measures such as Sustainable Aviation Fuels and reforestation.”

The lawsuit was filed by environmental organisations Fossielvrij and Reclame Fossielvrij with the support of environmental law organisation ClientEarth.

Of the 19 advertising statements under review, the court ruled that 15 were misleading.

“Today’s judgement is a landmark victory in the fight against greenwashing. KLM’s “green” marketing creates a misplaced trust that even if you are worried about the climate crisis, you can board a plane reassured you are not harming the planet. The judge has put an end to this harmful strategy to lull the public and politicians to sleep.” - Hiske Arts, Fossielvrij campaigner.

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Nobu Hotel London Portman Square partners with FuturePlus

Working with FuturePlus to identify areas for improvement across five key themes (Climate, Environment, Social, Economic, and Diversity and Inclusion), Nobu Hotel London Portman Square has made significant steps towards improving its sustainable operations, including working to eliminate single-use plastics from its rooms, employing water-efficient taps and showers, using 100% renewable electricity throughout the building, reducing food wastage and creating DEI initiatives through the review and enhancement of internal policies.

Thanks to its work with FuturePlus, the hotel has achieved the highest possible Level 3 Travel Sustainable badge, a sustainability initiative from that enables travellers to make more sustainable choices when booking accommodation.

🗣 "In our journey towards a sustainable future, we recognise the critical need for long-term accountability in our ESG efforts. This commitment is not just about meeting standards, but fundamentally transforming our culture to embrace adaptation and continuous learning. We understand that the path to sustainability requires speedy action and a dedication to change. By embracing swift, proactive changes, we aim to lead by example in our sustainability journey." - Grant Campbell, General Manager, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square

🗣 “When we started working with FuturePlus, we knew that it had a deep knowledge base we needed to tap into in order to move forwards with our sustainability efforts. By understanding elements like sustainability governance frameworks, we’ve been able to put processes and initiatives in place that we hadn’t previously considered. The FuturePlus team has been extremely supportive in helping us to develop new internal policies and processes across various aspects of sustainability, as well as providing guidance and assurance in reviewing and prioritising our goals when it comes to suppliers and partners. Having the Travel Sustainable Level 3 badge is not only important to us, but also to our sustainability-conscious guests.” - Snezana Charalambous, Executive Housekeeper and Head of ESG, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square.

British Rowing launches river clean-up initiatives

A recent report by The River Trust in the UK found that alarmingly, “no single stretch of river in England or Northern Ireland is in good overall health.”

Many things can impact the water quality of rivers, from plastics, sewage and debris, through to less obvious pollutants such as fertilisers, pesticides and cleaning chemicals. The impacts of these varied types of river pollution can be wide ranging. Not only is biodiversity impacted through damage to plant and animal water species, but impacts can travel up food chains, impacting the birds and mammals who rely on natural water sources for food and water.

Despite the worrying findings of this report, we see many organisations sharing inspiring stories of their voluntary work to protect precious waterways.

FuturePlus Impact Certified Member The Lensbury Resort, which resides on the banks of the River Thames, has its watersports teams help with river clean ups to remove litter from the waterway.

British Rowing is encouraging its rowers to conduct extensive water quality testing. By empowering citizen science they hope to gain greater insight into the extent of the pollution of waterways, to help pressure governments and polluters to take action.

Molly’s View:

“These are just two examples of organisations that are utilising the resources they have available to help create meaningful impact.

“Efforts like these not only contribute to cleaner waterways, but also help to inspire collective action and environmental stewardship. Small actions really do add up, and by thinking about the resources and skills organisations have available to them, they can really help to maximise impact.”

Fashion goes quiet on sustainability

As highlighted in an article by Vogue’s Senior Sustainability and Features Editor Emily Chan, sustainability appeared to be a low priority this fashion month compared to its relative previous prominence.

The article references a survey by Kantar, which found that while 92% of people say they want to live a sustainable life, only 16% are actually following through with action.

Read the full article here.

France begins crackdown on fast-fashion

In more positive news regarding fashion and sustainability, France's Lower House of Parliament has unanimously approved a ‘kill bill’ on 14 March that targets fast and ultra-fast fashion sold online.

The new decision is to offset the fast fashion industry's environmental impact by banning the advertising of certain ultra-fast-fashion companies – and penalising them with annually increasing increments of up to €10 euro per article of clothing by 2030.

The bill would also mandate that fast fashion retailers include an item's reuse, repair, recycling and environmental impact near the product's price.

Companies such as Shein and Teemu will be affected. Shein told the BBC that the bill's impact will "worsen the purchasing power of French consumers, at a time when they are already feeling the impact of the cost-of-living crisis."

Barbour to rent out pre-owned jackets at Glastonbury

Sticking with a brief fashion theme for this week, Barbour has teamed up with Oxfam to run a charity rental scheme at this summer’s Glastonbury Festival.

The ‘Barbour Re-Loved’ rental scheme will provide upcycled or pre-owned jackets to rent from the on-site Oxfam stores, with all proceeds donated to the charity.

“A key part of circularity is to keep products in use longer, thereby reducing impact per wear and the need for new resources.” - Paul Wilkinson, Commercial Director and Deputy Group Managing Director, Barbour

All of the jackets have been repaired and re-waxed by Barbour specifically for the festival. Each jacket is unique, and its features include reused materials and fabrics from past Glastonbury Festival t-shirts and merchandise.

Unlocking the power of Impact Reporting: Top tips for your business

Publishing an eye-catching Impact Report can not only enhance brand reputation and strengthen stakeholder trust but also be a great way to showcase transparency and drive positive change throughout a business by focusing sustainability efforts around a central reporting initiative.

We’ve explored the top tips for producing an impactful sustainability report that resonates with your audience and drives meaningful outcomes for your business.

At FuturePlus, we help hundreds of businesses define their impact and ambition across key sustainability themes, unlocking new opportunities for innovation, growth, and sustainable value creation.

Our in-platform integrated reporting functionality allows for real-time sustainability reporting at the click of a button, while our consulting and design teams are on hand to create beautiful and bespoke Impact Reports that effectively communicate sustainability achievements and goals.

To find out more about our bespoke Impact Reporting services, contact: [email protected]